I’m so excited we made the trip up to Ubud. The village is more famously known for where Elizabeth Gilbert learned to “love” in Eat, Pray, Love. I’m surprised she didn’t fall in love with all 600 of these guys! Bananas are available for purchase at the beginning of the sanctuary, but hide them quickly! As soon as I purchased, a monkey jumped on me and began eating a banana right out of my hand. These little (and sometimes big) critters love for bananas far exceeds their fear of humans. It was an amazing afternoon playing, feeding and learning about the monkeys. (Rule #1 don’t look directly into their eyes! It makes them nervous and will result in nibbles and bites.)

Meet Yogi. His parents own the petrol and corner shop by our apartment. He may only be 8 or 9 but he can run the shop by himself. The petrol is sold in old Absolut bottles for 70 cents a piece. Yogi fills up your scooter, asks you a few questions in English and you scoot away thinking he’s the cutest kid in all of Bali.

Spikes.

A few years back I watched the documentary that Spike Jonze directed about Maurice Sendak, writer of Where the Wild Things Are. It was dark and beautiful. But that was the type of person Maurice was. It’s available to watch on Hulu

Last weekend we watched Spike Lee’s Bad 25 documentary that aired on ABC back in 2012. Last year, Beyonce mentioned in an interview that the documentary made a big impact on her creatively. It’s a wonderful bit of insight to the creative genius MJ really was. He couldn’t play a single instrument, but he would sing the exact cords he wanted the guitarist, trumpeter, etc to play.

Everything truly is a remake of everything. Clearly things MJ did inspired Beyonce to create her mini-movies that she most recently released as her album. And in this documentary you’ll see all the things that inspired MJ’s epic Bad album. 

Plus, haven’t you always wondered who Anne was and why is MJ so insistent on knowing if she’s okay. If you’ve got an hour, it’s available on YouTube. 

On the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo is the New York Bar where they filmed Lost In Translation. It’s been a line on Taylor’s bucket list for years and we finally got to check it off. We ate French fries cooked in duck fat, sipped 12 year old whiskey and stared at the twinkling lights of the city all while a jazz band played some soft tunes. It was absolute perfection.

Who would’ve guessed there’d be a French bakery in the middle of Bali? But there is, and it’s delicious. Monsieur Spoon is so close to our villa and today the desserts were just plain irresistible. By the time we got the them home, the box was a bit foggy from the humidity. Doesn’t this chocolate tart and lemon meringue look perfect? Okay, enough talking about them…I’ve got to go eat them! 

Our Japanese B&B was nestled along the Cape of Irago. There’s a hotel situated on top of the mountain that we heard had the best views. So one day, we decided to bike around the cape and up the mountain to the hotel. Being back on a bike is pretty invigorating… that is, until you hit the incline. It took some time (and some walking), but we got there. A cold coke in hand and some breathtaking views can really rejuvenate the soul. On to the lighthouse and back around the cape. I’d say it was a pretty successful day. 

Tokyo was mind-blowing. But we wanted someplace quieter to finish out our time in Japan. Little did we know that when we booked at Ayae’s B&B, we’d hit the jackpot.  We’re so lucky to have met someone as sweet and creative as Ayae. We enjoyed our week so much, we booked for another two weeks. She taught us so much about the land and culture as well as warmly welcoming us as friends.

The B&B is in the traditional Japanese style and a completely new experience for both Taylor and I. That means kimonos, taking your shoes off at the door, miso soup and rice for breakfast, eating meals cross legged on the floor and sleeping on traditional bed mats. It took sometime to get use to, but something we’ll never forget. 

A family run business, the B&B been passed down for three generations. Ayae has taken the reigns and turned it into Japan’s first organic B&B. She just started an Instagram, so go live vicariously through her wonderful photos.

As a gift for our wonderful stay, Taylor helped launch her new english website. Check it out!